The end of the Cardinals postseason hopes, that is. The Cards were able to win a game last night, which was a nice change of pace and guaranteed them at least a .500 record, but the Mets won as well, so the Cardinals, for 100% certain, will not be playing after Sunday. Still, you have to agree with Tony
"If you'd have told this club we were going into the last week of the
season in contention for an October spot, I think a lot of people
wouldn't have believed it," La Russa said.
Heroically, Ryan Ludwick
's three-run home run set the tone for the game. It seemed to get the Cardinals off the mat, though I will say I was a little afraid, as the innings wore on, that this would be another instance of the Cards scoring early and not scoring again. Thankfully, that wasn't the case.
Also, congrats to Albert Pujols for finally cracking the 100 walk plateau. I know that's something he's talked about in the past as a goal of his. He still needs five runs to get to 100 in that category, which menas he might fall just a bit short unless the offense explodes the rest of the way and he's a part of it. Congratulations also to Kyle Lohse for getting his career-high 15th win.
A solid game by most everyone. As much as I've been pressing for him to play, Brian Barton
's 0-4 gets him the Goat tag. I still think he needs to be out there getting the experience through the rest of the week, though. It's not like it's hurting the team that much.
There was more and bigger news than just the game yesterday. Whether it's a harbringer of another end remains to be seen. Chris Carpenter is potentially going to go under the knife again as the doctors apparently--and with anything related to the health of Cardinal pitchers, you get your grains of salt out--have found that the problem is a compressed nerve. Joe Strauss rang the alarm bells yesterday morning, but today's stories
are much more positive. I have no doubt that Strauss will discuss his opinion on Carpenter and why things seemed to have changed in today's JSL!!! chat
This nerve stuff is interesting to me due to my past history with Guillain-Barre Syndrome
. My initial diagnosis was carpel tunnel, as they seem to have considered with Carp. And I had one of the nerve-conduction studies done that they mention in the PD story. (Not the most pleasant of things, though all in all not terrible.)
I hope that the new news/spin, depending on your point of view, is accurate and Carp can have this fixed by opening day. The problem is if the Cards believe this, plan their off-season accordingly, and it still isn't well by spring, which is a strong possibility. I think most fans would agree that St. Louis needs to plan for Carp not being around in 2009 and act accordingly. If he is, it's a bonus and strengthens the team even more. But after the Mulder/Carpenter/Clement saga of this year and the tradition of having injury problems linger longer than their "expiration date" for this team, it's the only way to go.
The first official meaningless game takes place tonight as Adam Wainwright makes his last start of the year against the young up-and-comer Max Scherzer. Scherzer was actually born in St. Louis and I'm pretty sure the Cardinals wouldn't mind having him now. He's never faced the club, which sometimes is a tremendous advantage for the pitcher with this team, though they did alright in a stretch earlier this year handling fresh faces.
Wainwright pitched a solid game against the D-Backs at the beginning of the month, winning the only Cardinal victory in the series. He only went 5.1 but allowed just a single run. Historically
, Adam Dunn's done well against him, but he's pretty much alone out of the Diamondbacks.
I'm on another four-day weekend starting tomorrow so I don't know if I'll update again before the season is over. Enjoy these last few games--the winter is so cold without baseball!
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